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A gender discrimination action in which female employees of Novartis Pharmaceuticals alleged that there were discriminated against because they were pregnant or had recently given birth has been certified as a class action by a United States District Court Judge in New York.

The case, believed to be the second largest gender discrimination case certified as a class action, involves an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 current and former female sales employees of Novartis, dating back to 2002. Judge Gerard E. Lynch was presented by the plaintiffs’ attorneys a statistical analysis which showed that women were paid an average of $75 less per month than men in similar jobs.

Federal law prohibits acts of discrimination against employees on the basis of their gender, age, religion and other miscellaneous factors. Most recently, claims of discrimination based upon an employee’s pregnancy have increased.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Workplace Injuries and Discrimination.

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